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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Woodfine

Recipe: Gingerbread Angels and Tea with Jam

Updated: Apr 4

In my book, A Dancer's Dream, one of Stana's favourite Christmas traditions is eating gingerbread angels, and drinking tea with jam. If you'd like to have a go at recreating this treat - for yourself, or to share with family and friends - here's how:

Gingerbread angels

This recipe is based on Felicity Cloake's gingerbread biscuit recipe, which is a big favourite in our house.  If you don't have an angel shaped biscuit-cutter, you could make snowflakes, stars, Christmas trees or any other festive shapes.

  • Put 225g softened unsalted butter in a bowl, and beat with a wooden spoon

  • Add 340g of soft brown sugar and beat again

  • Add one beaten egg to the mixture. Continue to beat gently (don’t worry if it begins to curdle - just add in a little plain flour)

  • Mix 340g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 3 tsp ground ginger and 2 tsp mixed spice in a separate bowl, and then add to the butter, sugar and egg mixture

  • Stir until the mixture comes together in a smooth dough

  • Spread out some clingfilm on your work surface, and put the gingerbread dough on top. Cover it with another piece of clingfilm, then roll flat with a rolling pin until the dough is about 3mm thick

  • Transfer your dough onto a chopping board and pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes

  • Heat your oven to 190 C and lightly grease your baking sheet(s)

  • Take out the dough, remove the top layer of clingfilm and use an angel-shaped biscuit cutter to cut out your biscuits

  • Arrange your biscuits carefully on the baking sheet, remembering to leave space between them, as they will spread when they are in the oven

  • Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool

I like to eat my gingerbread angels just as they are, but you can also decorate them with white icing if you prefer.

Russian tea with jam

To accompany your gingerbread angels, try this traditional Russian way of drinking tea. You can use any loose-leaf black tea you like, but I like this Russian Caravan blend from my local tea/coffee producers Atkinsons.

  • Boil some water in your kettle. Put a small amount of hot water into the bottom of your teapot to warm it, then discard.

  • Put some loose tea-leaves into the teapot - use 1 heaped teaspoon per cup, plus an extra spoonful 'for the pot'.

  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of berry jam to the pot - try strawberry, cherry, raspberry or blackcurrant.

  • Leave the tea to brew for around 5 minutes, allowing the flavours to develop

  • Using a tea-strainer, pour the tea into your cups. You can serve some jam in a little dish alongside your tea in case anyone would like to add another spoonful to their cup.

Drink and enjoy with a gingerbread angel on the side - perhaps while listening to the music of Tchiakovsky's 'The Nutcracker', or leafing through your copy of A Dancer's Dream?

Buy A Dancer's Dream by Katherine Woodfine, illustrated by Lizzy Stewart from Waterstones or

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